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Spencer Fane Issues Memo on Impact of Supreme Court Abortion Ruling in Missouri

In response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which was followed by Governor Mike Parson signing a proclamation ending elective abortions in the State of Missouri, Spencer Fane’s health care team is sharing a memo outlining the impact these decisions may have on the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion or to choose the birth control device that best fits her health care needs.

Supreme Court Issues Vaccination Mandate Decisions: Where We Stand Today

Big Picture

Today the United States Supreme Court issued a decision staying implementation and enforcement of the Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) issued by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requiring employers with 100 or more employees to adopt policies mandating COVID-19 vaccination and testing, at least while legal challenges to the ETS proceed through lower courts.  This means that for now, employers covered by the federal ETS are not required to comply with it.

Supreme Court to Hear Challenges on Federal Vaccine Mandates from OSHA and CMS

Late on Wednesday, December 22, the United States Supreme Court announced that it will hear oral arguments on January 7, 2022, on several consolidated cases challenging the Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”) issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requiring that employers with 100 or more employees adopt vaccine mandate and testing policies, as well as the vaccine mandate imposed on certain health care facilities under the Interim Rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS Vaccine Mandate Rule Blocked in 10 States (including Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska)

A Missouri-based federal judge issued an order today partially blocking the Biden Administration from implementing the emergency regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on November 4, 2021, that mandated COVID-19 vaccination by January 4, 2022, for the employees and contractors of covered health care facilities participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The order, known as a preliminary injunction, is temporary in nature, although it could eventually become permanent if the lawsuit is successful.

Now is the Time to Prepare for the No Surprises Act

The Federal No Surprises Act (“the Act”) will go into effect for healthcare providers and health plans beginning January 1, 2022.  With an eye toward protecting patients from unexpected out-of-network medical costs, this law will require payers and providers to interact and negotiate in new ways.  Health care providers and health care facilities should begin preparations now for implementing the requirements of the Act.

No Surprises Act: Good Faith Estimate for Self-Pay Patients

In addition to protecting insured patients from out-of-network costs, the No Surprises Act implements protections for uninsured or self-pay patients.  Effective January 1, 2022, healthcare providers and facilities will be required to provide a good faith estimate of charges to a patient for any service that is scheduled at least three days in advance.  Where the service will involve multiple healthcare providers, the scheduling provider is required to coordinate with the other providers to gather information necessary to timely provide this estimate, although enforcement of this coordination is delayed until December 31, 2022.  The estimate may include disclaimers and explanations of potential unknown factors that may impact the cost.

Sweeping New Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Mandates on the Horizon for American Employers and Employees

On September 9, 2021, the Biden Administration announced a new plan to use federal regulatory powers to reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans. The thrust of the administrative initiative involves “substantially increas[ing] the number of Americans covered by vaccination requirements,” primarily through mandates that “will become dominant in the workplace.” The Administration estimates that these new mandates will affect over 80 million Americans eligible to be vaccinated but who have not yet gotten their first COVID-19 shot.

Essential Health Care Checklist for College Students

The dog days of summer are behind us, and National Back-to-School Month is well underway. Parents across the country are checking off tasks on their lists in order to get their college students ready to go back to school.  If it’s not already on the list, parents need to make sure that their college student has appropriate health care documents in place for anything that comes their way.

Missouri Supreme Court Upholds Non-Economic Damages Cap

On July 22, 2021, the Missouri Supreme Court issued its opinion in the matter of Ordinalo Velazquez v. University Physician Associates, et al. In a victory for health care providers, the Missouri Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to non-economic damages caps in actions based on the provision of medical services.

OSHA Implements COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare and Updates COVID-19 Guidance for all Employers

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced an action OSHA has not taken in 38 years: issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard (“ETS”).  This ETS aims to protect “healthcare and healthcare support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19 in settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present.”  The ETS does not go into effect until publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred but appears imminent (OSHA has submitted the ETS to the Office of the Federal Register for publication and codification in 29 CFR 1910 Subpart U).  The text of the ETS, as submitted to the Office of the Federal Register, is available here.  OSHA also launched a website with resources regarding the ETS.

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